Monthly Archives: July 2013

SKCA OPPOSES KINSHIP CARE ORDER in CYP BILL

Kinship Carers tell of their plight at the SKCA launch

Kinship Carers tell of their plight at the SKCA launch

29th July 2013. On Friday the Scottish Kinship Care Alliance submitted its comprehensive response to the Education and Culture Committee’s call for evidence on the Children and Young People’s Bill. In April the Scottish Government released more information on the new measures for Kinship Carers which is had proposed in the Bill. This revealed that far from increasing provisions for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children who are in Kinship Care, they are intending to save money and decrease the support available! This will largely be achieved by taking children off Looked After status (which is currently the only way to guarantee any adequate support) and putting them onto a new legal status called a Kinship Care Order.

Our response not only decries this despicable move to keep Kinship children and their carers in poverty and distress, but also points out that this discrimination between children in Kinship Care and their oftentimes brothers and sisters with comparable needs in foster care, is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The SKCA will expose the Scottish Government’s disregard for Human Rights law in the coming year.

Kinship carers and politicians and policy makers at the SCKA launch

Kinship carers and politicians and policy makers at the SCKA launch

One of the most disappointing elements of the Bill’s ‘progress’ is the way in which the views of Kinship Carers have been outrightly ignored by the Bill team and the Scottish Government. We have had several meetings with the Bill team, and, along with other respected agencies such as the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Commission on Children and Young People, Social Work Glasgow and the Poverty Truth Commission, have made the needs of Kinship children for basic support abundantly clear. However, the team have ignored our emotional stories and plentiful evidence and done the opposite. We are deeply concerned that there is an institutionalised discrimination within the Scottish Government, which has already condemned children in Kinship Care to the scrap heap.

We will not back down and are building alliances to ensure Kinship children do get access to essential services and are given the chance these innocent children deserve in life.

Please see the full response below. Continue reading

LANDMARK RULING FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS CARERS

Royal Courts of Justice, London

Royal Courts of Justice, London

9th July 2013.  A case in Tower Hamlets, London, has resulted in another landmark ruling that Kinship Carers are entitled to the same level of support as foster carers. The ruling recognises that foster and kinship carers take care of children with comparable needs and vulnerability, and essentially do the same job, yet foster carers are very well supported and many Kinship Carers receive very little or even nothing.  It is worth noting that the situation in Scotland is much worse than the case mentioned here, as very few Kinship Carers would receive the £200/week stated here. In fact the average Kinship allowance (which varies across Scotland and is only available to Kinship Carers on certain legal orders) is around £60/week.
 It is time a similar case was taken in Scotland to challenge the institutionalised discrimination between children in foster and kinship care here.  Any lawyers do get in touch!

Read the full story below, and another article – ‘Unsung heroine’ wins landmark foster care case against Tower Hamlets Council in High Courthere. Continue reading

SCOTTISH CARERS FORM ALLIANCE IN WESTMINSTER

 

Jessie speaking at Westminster

Jessie speaking at Westminster

May 1st, 2013.   Scottish Kinship Carers from the Alliance spoke at Westminster in May, on the invite of the Global Women’s Strike – a global women’s network who have been campaigning for many years for women’s rights and recognition for women’s unpaid work. Jessie Harvey from Kinship for the Future (North) in Glasgow, and Anne Swartz, Kinship Alliance chair and chair of the West Dunbartonshire group joined other carers from around the UK to launch a petition calling for a living wage for all mothers and carers in recognition of the crucial role they carry out in society.

Jessie gave a moving speech to MPs and other carers which can be seen on youtube here.  A letter to the Guardian newspaper entitled Kinship Carers also need support’  was subsequently published, and the Alliance is now working closely with Global Women’s Strike.

The petition can be found here. Please do sign and watch the other moving speeches on the Global Women’s Strike Website